Death Row Records Sold For $18 Million In Auction
It didn't take long for a buyer to snatch up Death Row Records during yesterday's official auction. The winning bid of $18 million came from WIDEawake Entertainment Group, a Toronto based company. The new owners beat out Warner Music Group and Conquest Media Group and will have control of music and awards from rappers Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg.
Initial reports said that bidding would begin around $25 million dollars, the amount offered by Warner. It's unclear as to why the price dropped. Due to the reduced price, creditors will receive a fraction of the money owed to them by the company if any at all.
"This was a charade," said businessman Mark Friedman, who is owed $1 million for his investment stake in a Death Row project. "The trustees didn't seem to pursue any real bidders and completely mismanaged Suge Knight's estate. It's like whatever's left on the body, they're taking their last pickings."
Lydia Harris who won a case she filed as co-founder of the label was happy with the outcome of the sale. "I'm glad it's over because I knew the entire time it was just a game," said Harris. "The trustees strategized to shut me out. What else can I do?" In 2005, Harris won a judgment against the label and was awarded $107 million for both punitive and economic damages. The label defaulted on the settlement but it is believed that a portion of the money for the sale of the label will go to Harris.
Founder Marion "Suge" Knight started the label back in 1991. It became a staple in Hip-Hop housing some of the West Coast's biggest artists like Shakur, Snoop, and producer Dr. Dre. In recent years Knight has seen the fall of his company and his personal wealth. The label filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and Knight's Malibu home is also up for sale for $2 million.